Friday, December 21, 2007

Cooking class: Thai and Indonesian

It's difficult to believe that my current six-week cooking class came to a close tonight. As always, it was a very nice set of students. This time, we let one extra person in to accomodate a couple, and had nine students in our not-so-big kitchen.

This may have been the tastiest night yet - but then again, this group made fabulous Italian, Mexican, Indian, ... it's tough to choose! We made an Indonesian vegetable stew with noodles, potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and a curry paste I showed my students how to make - as always, this came out great and was probably my favorite dish tonight. The tempeh was very good, made with various spices and coconut milk. Two kinds of salads hilighted the flavor of Ume plum vinegar - one cucumber with some tomato, and the other a tomato salad - were also good.

We usually have a plain Thai jasmine rice, but I have seen fair trade rice by a cooperative named Surin in the store recently, branded/impoted by Alter Eco, and decided to try their ruby red jasmine today. I was also tempted by a purple variety. The ruby red is of the Khao Deng variety and supposed to be particularly nutritious (generally foods that are naturally colorful are especially good for us). It was much tastier than plain jasmine rice and I plan to integrate some of these rices into my regular cooking.

We also had cashew chip meltaway cookies that were decadently excellent! Some picked these cookies, while we were eating them warm from the oven, as our best dessert, while others chose the chocolate baklava or blueberry crisp.

Yesterday, we had quickly decided to go to the theatre to see what sounded like an interesting Pakistani film Khuda Ke Liye, about the relationship of moderate and fundamental Islam, as its run was ending. Alas, there were no subtitles; I could understand some of the Urdu language, but management allowed me to skip out after an hour or so and catch another film that I wanted to see, the documentary My Kid Could Paint That. I liked the film - it was about a 4-year-old, Marla Olmstead, whose art is seen by some as being prodigious abstract art, and which commands high prices. Marla's website is fun!

Anyway, we had barely enough time to call ahead to Udipi South Indian restaurant so that we could eat at the restaurant, enroute and just a mile or so away from the theatre. I had a delicious uttapam (Indian pancake) with vegetables and coconut, and my wife had lemon rice. We also had idlis (steamed rice cakes) and pakoras (friend dumplings) as appetizers.


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